Dealing with NON dog people
Of course all of you reading this are dog people; but unfortunately there are people in this world who are not. Understandably some people just don't get dogs; others may be afraid of them because of an incident or simple lack of experience with the canine species. Then there are the people who really dislike dogs but dislike us dog people even more. Often they feel like their rights in life are being shoved aside for dogs and their dog loving guardians. My husband ran into one of these people last weekend.
He was running with Luke down a fairly isolated path; and when they ran past one couple the woman jumped into her "ahhhhhhh a dog;" screaming routine. She continued to scream as they ran by and my husband could still hear her far behind. So; for the sake of people like this it is of the utmost importance to keep your dog to yourself. If someone does not have a dog; there is probably a reason I think. So when I walk by those who are dogless I make sure to give them a large dogfree zone.
It can take but a few people to ruin it for others. You may run into lots of dogless people who love dogs and don't mind your Fido jumping all over them and slobbering down their legs but inevitably you will run into one who is NOT okay with it and they may report you. This is when you start to see the "leash police" out in full force. The bottom line is; if you do not have impeccible control over your unleashed dog; then they should be leashed in a public area. I do not appreciate it when doga run at us when my dogs are onleash. I have Jessie onleash all the time because she is not dog friendly; so if an off leash dog approaches her it makes matters difficult for me.
Also watch body language; you know I discuss this all the time, watching your dogs body language is so important. But; just as important is the body language of other people who are frequenting the same area as you. I've also discussed before how I will take Jessie off a path and make it look like we are not interested in meeting other dogs; I mean really clear. But there are always the people who continue coming my way with a big smile on their face when they finally ask "can they play?" NO; MY DOG IS NOT FRIENDLY. Had they been paying attention they would have already known this.
So as much as you love your dog; and all your friends love your dog, there are people who don't. Being mindful of those few will make our dog world a whole lot better for all of us and our dogs.